Spring Series #7: Absolutely Fantastic Racing on the Potomac!

We had an amazing day for Spring Series #7!  Steady breeze at 10-15 from the South, four great races, and 8 Lightnings on the line!  Read Nabeel’s great summary of the day’s racing on the PRSA website and add your own comments.  Heather on the RC also took some great photos, including the ones below!

Team As You Wish Win Their First Regatta!

Congratulations to Team As You Wish for their fantastic win at the PRSA Spring Regatta!  Lisa-Marie sailed with Jim Lane and Christy Chen, and I have to say that they did an extraordinary day in some challenging conditions to beat out 6 other Lightnings and earn their first regatta win.  Great job all around — I know that the entire Fleet is thrilled for you!

As I mentioned, the conditions on Sunday were very challenging (after no racing on Saturday due to a total lack of wind).  The breeze was generally easterly in direction (!) and ranged from 5-10 knots, with some pretty big swings to the south with puffs and then lots of soft spots, and dead spots, throughout the course.  The RC sent us off on 4 O2 races (the only real choice given wind direction and river constraints), which put a premium on boathandling around the relatively short course as well as attention to finding clear air as one navigated around and through 4 other classes on the course.

Watching As You Wish throughout the day (from behind them for most of it!) I noticed how well they did in doing a couple of things: (a) not pinching, and (b) keeping their air clear, especially on the reach legs where boats tended to cluster a bit and it was very easy to get rolled.  It was a day that demanded persistence and patience, for sure.  On Beedobeat (sailing with Geoff and Quentin Bishop) we found ourselves able to get off the start line and up to the windward mark ahead in several races, especially once we figured out the advantage that came with going left early to get up current and get into better pressure.  But As You Wish and the rest of the pack were tenacious, and we did get rolled on a couple of the reach/run legs.

Overall the results were very tight, with As You Wish beating out Alex, Will, and Ed Lane on No Call, No Show in a tiebreaker for 1st, followed in 3rd by John Van Voorhis and David Keto on Shamrock just one point behind!  Congratulations once again to Lisa-Marie, Jim, and Christy for a great job and for a well-earned 1st regatta win!

SSA No Gas Regatta: Two Days of Great Annapolis Sailing

Sixteen boats turned out for the SSA No Gas Regatta in Annapolis for two days of great racing in Annapolis.  We had great Fleet 50 participation, with Nabeel (sailing with Chandler Owen, Russ Roberts, and Jeff Witten), Lisa-Marie Lane (sailing with Jim and Molly-Lynn Westrate), Aaron crewing for Rick Welch (along with Kin Ellot), and Bruce Heida (crewing for Greg Kelly)

The breeze was up a bit early on Saturday morning as we all rigged, but things settled down to a pretty steady 12-14 by the time we were racing.  We had some good runs in the first race with plenty of hiking and then things stabilized out a bit for 3 more great races, with the breeze tailing off towards the end of the 4th race such that we were stripping off foul weather gear as we headed back to the marina (see the fantastic photo from Ted Morgan, below, and more regatta photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm18qtfY).

Sailing with Rick and Kin we made a concerted effort to have a plan for the first leg off the start (direction to go, when/whether to tack) and we did a fairly good job of executing that plan in most races.  Competition was tight in a very talented fleet, though, and an OCS in race 1 didn’t help our overall position after day 1.  Nonetheless, we had a blast, went fast, and enjoyed some great bbq & beer at SSA after the racing.

The breeze was forecast to be lighter on Sunday and that forecast held true, with winds in the 8-10 range for most of the day.  We again really focused on a plan, and on looking up the course for shifts and pressure.  We managed to get a few things right for some decent finishes (a 4 and a 6 among them) on Day 2.  After three races we were back on shore toasting the leaders and celebrating another No Gas (one with 7 races and very little power boat chop!) in the books.  Full results are posted here: http://www.lightningclass.org/racing/results/2017/noGas.asp.  A great regatta all around, and great to have good Fleet 50 participation!

2017 Potomac Cup Results

What a great weekend!  With 6 great races in breezy conditions, a fantastic BBQ, great camping, and good fun all around, the 2017 Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup is in the books.  Congratulations to all the competitors and many, many thanks to all of the volunteers who helped make the regatta such a success.  Complete results are posted here and more photos will be posted soon.

And the winner is…

Thanks to all who joined us for the Fleet 50 Annual General Meeting & Awards Potluck last evening. I’m pleased to announce the winners of our skipper and crew awards as well as the 2017 Fleet 50 Board of Officers. The Fleet 50 Championship Series results are posted to the “Results” area of the website. Congratulations all around!

2016 Fleet Championship

  1. Nabeel Alsalam
  2. Aaron Boesenecker
  3. Bobby Astrove
  4. John Van Voorhis
  5. Bob Gotthardt

Crew Awards

Best New Crew: Christiam Camacho
Most Improved Crew: Ryan Huttar
High Impact Crew: Christy Chen

Skipper Awards

Team Sprit Skipper: Bob Gotthardt
Congeniality Award: Aaron Boesenecker
Skipper of the Year: Lisa-Marie Lane

Special Recognitions

Fleet Helper: Lindsay Bach

Performance Awards

Bloody Rudder: Lisa-Marie Lane
All Weather Sailor: Tom Hutton / Jim Lane (tie)
Iron Skipper: John Van Voorhis / Nabeel Alsalam (tie)
Most Improved Skipper: Aaron Boesenecker

You can read the details about the awards, some of the supporting statements for the nominees, and more in the 2017 AGM & Awards Banquet Agenda & Reports document.

2017 Board of Officers

Fleet Captain: Lisa-Marie Lane
Lieutenant for Racing: John Van Voorhis
Treasurer: Bob Gotthardt
Secretary: Geof Fuller
Scorer:
Webmaster: (pending–may merge website with PRSA site)
Potomac Cup Regatta Chair:

Looking forward to a great 2017 sailing season!

Fall Series #6: Beautiful Fall Sailing!

We had absolutely fantastic weather for Fall Series #6: light to moderate southerly breezes, temps in the 70s, and a nice clear sky.  This all worked out well for me on Beedobeat as I ended up sailing with Bill Parker, a college sailing friend of Connor Burke’s, who had plenty of sailing experience but was on a Lightning for the 1st time.  Bill was up front, and then we had in the middle another new sailor, Debra, sailing for first time ever on a sailboat!  The RC did a great job of getting us a number of races including some O2 courses that were quite nice given the wind velocity and angles.  We generally found that the left (channel) side of the course was favorable given wind and current, and that getting out there meant a bit of an advantage and fewer tacks to get to the windward mark.  Downwind a quick jibe towards the airport (on the run) was also favorable as it got you out of the current.  I just have to say that Debra did a stellar job flying the spinnaker all day (again, first time on a sailboat ever!!!) and Bill was a rockstar up front — we were able to do all of this in our first time ever sailing together, and I thought that this was amazing!  Scores are posted on the PRSA website.

Breezy Fun at PRSA Fall Series #5

We had a great day for racing this past Sunday!  Six Lightnings, two Bucs, two Albacores, and an I-20 came out to play on a sunny day that featured some great, albeit shifty, breeze.  PRO Farley Will and his crew did a great job managing a “wacky west wind” in setting a course that gave us a mix of O2, T2, T3, and O3 courses.  The wind reports from National Airport show a breeze of 12-15 throughout the afternoon with the occasional gust in the 20s.

Scores will be posted soon, and I think we will also have some great photos taken from the RC boats to post as well.  Stay tuned for that information, and keep reading for some of my observations from aboard Beedobeat with Piercarlo.  In many ways, it was a great day to be double-handing!

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Fantastic Fun at the PRSA Rookie Regatta!

We had a great turnout for the 2016 Rookie Regatta, with 15 boats on the water and new sailors or crew in new positions on almost all of them!  The wind was a bit tricky, but we still managed to run 4 races.  There was plenty of time left afterward to enjoy a beautiful sunny afternoon on shore with some BBQ & beer as we all chatted about the racing and celebrated the rookies!  In the Lightning class it was great to see Ed Lane driving for his first time (sailing with Karen & Lisa-Marie).  Geoff Fuller took out a brand new sailor and also had Leigh drive one race (her first time driving a Lightning).  Will stole the show, though, taking out two rookies — Brint and Kendra — and turning the helm over to Brint, who in turn scored two bullets and led team No Call, No Show to victory on the day!

Thanks to all who volunteered and — especially — to all the rookies who came out to give things a try.  We hope to see you out on the water again soon!  A link full score sheet along with my observations from the signal boat are posted below, and photos have been posted to the “Photos” area of the Fleet 50 website and to the PRSA Facebook Page.

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Spring Series #8 Wrap-Up

A handful of Lightnings and one hearty Buccaneer came out Sunday for what turned out to be a beautiful day of sailing.  The forecast was for high winds and possible thunderstorms, but despite a few gusts early in the and some grey clouds it ended up being a wonderful day on the water.  PRO Kyra Tallon and her crew got us 4 beautiful races in a steady southerly breeze.  The wind filled in over the course of the day such that the gusts diminished and the overall velocity became more consistent in the 12-15 range.  There were a few shifts on the day, notably a big lefty in race 3 that ran counter to the overall advantage one gained by sailing right (west) to find breeze and some shifts.  It was a great day to work on boat balance, trim, and downwind angles in a bit of breeze (but not too much).  Fun was had by all and we were back to the dock by 2:30 thanks to a high tide that allowed us to sail just outside the airport pier (though I did dig my centerboard into the mud a few times later in the day).  Overall it was a great way to round out the Spring Series racing!

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PRSA Spring Regatta Results

Congratulations to Nabeel, Jess, and Scott on Team Shadowfax for taking 1st place in the Lightning class at the 2016 Spring Regatta! Aaron (sailing with Lisbet and Evan) took second in the first full regatta he’d sailed in his new boat. Bobby Astrove (sailing with Sara, Brian, and John in various combinations over the weekend) took 3rd.  Overall, we had 6 Lightnings on the course (and a few more represented on RC over the weekend).  Aboard #14592 we did a good job with boatspeed and tactics on day 1 such that we led Nabeel by a point.  Nabeel, Jess, and Scott really brought their game on day 2, though, such that we couldn’t stay ahead of them.  A well earned victory for them!

We had 47 boats, nearly 100 sailors, and 2 days of great racing for the 2016 PRSA Spring Regatta! A huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the regatta a success — especially our RC volunteers on both courses and Heather and Melissa for fantastic food and beverages. A lot of people pitched in to help, though, and we’re thankful for everybody’s efforts. Links to results and other information are posted to the PRSA website.